Wireless Phones Help Protect Senior Citizens

Wireless Phones Help Protect Senior Citizens

Verizon Wireless Combats Abuse of Elderly With 10 Phones to Aging in America

May 31, 2001



As part of its ongoing commitment to fight the growing problem of domestic violence, Verizon Wireless today donated 10 wireless phones to Aging in America, a not-for-profit human services agency in Bronx, NY, that serves more than 1200 members and operates three senior centers. The phones, pre-programmed to dial 9-1-1 and Aging in America's social service hotline will be given to seniors on a rotating basis to provide victims of domestic violence with an emergency lifeline when they need it.

"Even though society has become more open about domestic violence in recent years, it is still a silent problem for many senior citizens today," said Bruce Hurwitz, director of development, Aging in America. "The American Medical Association estimates that one in four older persons will experience some form of abuse. Aging in America recently started a program designed to raise awareness about the different types of abuse seniors may suffer and to offer options and resources to help free them of the abuse. These emergency phones will serve as valuable tools for this program."

According to the New York Elder Abuse Coalition, elder abuse is defined as the physical, emotional or financial mistreatment and/or neglect of a person 60 years of age or older. Similar to other victims of domestic violence, abused seniors come from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds. However, victims of elder abuse experience more isolation than other victims and as a result, often don't receive the help they need. They usually are dependent on others for care and have a lesser chance of detection and protection.

"At Verizon Wireless, we recognize that domestic violence is a very real problem that affects our neighbors, friends and even seniors," said Charles Hand, president of Verizon Wireless' New York Metro Region. "Our Hopeline® community service program was created to fight domestic violence through education and prevention. It is our hope that these phones will help relieve some of the isolation these seniors experience and give them the ability to call for help if needed."

Since its inception in 1995, the Hopeline® program has allowed Verizon Wireless to give back to the community by bringing its wireless products and services to various groups in need throughout the company's service area. Verizon Wireless has donated or recycled nearly 45,000 phones in the New York metro area.

About Verizon Wireless

Verizon Wireless is the largest wireless communications provider in the U.S. with more than 27 million wireless voice and data customers. The coast-to-coast wireless provider was formed by the combination of the U.S. wireless businesses of Verizon Communications (NYSE:VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE and LSE: VOD), including Bell Atlantic Mobile, AirTouch Cellular, GTE Wireless and PrimeCo Personal Communications. Verizon Wireless has a footprint covering more than 90 percent of the U.S. population, 49 of the top 50 and 96 of the top 100 U.S. markets. The company, headquartered in Bedminster, NJ, is 40,000 employees strong. Reporters and editors can find more information about the company on the Web at http://www.verizonwireless.com.